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Old 21.08.2021, 16:57
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Special Case - Master Student with part time work

Hello together,

I will be starting my masters degree in CH and also will work part time at a Zurich bank on an "on call" basis probably 1-2 days / week.

I guess that if I would stay <15h/week (which I am eligible to work with my student permit) I would fall under the radar for the mandatory health insurance and could insure myself with a cheap insurer such as swisscare?

However, my contract is on call base and my employee wants me to have the permit that I could also work more per hours in order to guarantee a higher level of flexibility.

Now the problem is that I don't know how long the employment will be since it is project based. I hope I can stay there till the end of my time in Switzerland but who really knows.

This presents me with following issues:

1) if I know settle with one of the more expensive "normal" insurances, will I be able to easy switch to a cheaper plan if I don't have a side job anymore?

2) paying >2 grand in insurance per year given the amount of healthcare I actually receive is pretty nuts for having a part time job that demands 1-2 working days per week. I literally pay the same amount for the insurance than someone earning for instance uhm ... 200 grand +? Coming from an EU state where insurance is payed by the employer/employee based on income this pretty much bugs me up.

How would you rate the chance of receiving a prämienverbilligung? And how complicated is this process? I read countless of things online. One post in this forum many years ago mentioned that someone got their residency status permitted because applying for the Verbilligung? I recall that I had to sign somewhere that I receive more $$$ than a sozialhilfeempfänger in Switzerland. What if I now go for the prämienverbilligung and say that I only make around 1500 chf per month?

Anyway I would be happy for any inputs!

Cheers
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Old 21.08.2021, 18:37
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

Edit: reformulating the most pressing issue - can I use insurance like swisscare if I work besides my studies but only for a very limited amount? <50% I find absolutely no guidance on that whatsoever.
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Old 21.08.2021, 18:48
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

If you have a "work" permit then you won't be a student, plain and simple. The rules are clear - students are only allowed to work a maximum of 15 hours per week during term time. Find another job if the employer won't accept that restriction. Or give up your studies. Also, if you're a non-EU national you're not allowed to work for the first 6 months of your course.
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Old 21.08.2021, 21:46
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

I am an EU national. So if I stay below the 15h boundary I should be ok?
Going to call the city on monday.
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Old 21.08.2021, 21:59
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

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I am an EU national. So if I stay below the 15h boundary I should be ok?
Going to call the city on monday.
Should be.
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Old 22.08.2021, 08:17
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

With these insurers like swisscare ... do they also give out AHV Numbers?
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Old 22.08.2021, 09:57
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

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With these insurers like swisscare ... do they also give out AHV Numbers?
The insurer is not responsible to issue AHV number. That is related to social security and if you don't have one, your employer will request one as part of employing you.
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Old 22.08.2021, 16:44
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

Thank you for all the replies so far.

I just checked the ETH page and it says that when you even earn a limited amount in CH you need the compulsory Swiss insurance or the common student insurances such as Swisscare.

However, I asked the German guy who was living in my flat before and he worked at the University while being insured with his parents from home in Germany. This contradicts the information found online again.

Also, is there just some general guidance/benchmark value I could earn besides my studies while being insured with swisscare et al? Hear people hear talking about salaries from 30-40k / year while still being insured by swisscare.

I would be talking about 12-15k income max on my end. However, there is no verifiable source to check whether I can use swisscare or not.

Would at least like to know it from a second source before I approach the governmental institutions.
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Old 22.08.2021, 17:45
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

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Thank you for all the replies so far.

I just checked the ETH page and it says that when you even earn a limited amount in CH you need the compulsory Swiss insurance or the common student insurances such as Swisscare.

However, I asked the German guy who was living in my flat before and he worked at the University while being insured with his parents from home in Germany. This contradicts the information found online again.

Also, is there just some general guidance/benchmark value I could earn besides my studies while being insured with swisscare et al? Hear people hear talking about salaries from 30-40k / year while still being insured by swisscare.

I would be talking about 12-15k income max on my end. However, there is no verifiable source to check whether I can use swisscare or not.

Would at least like to know it from a second source before I approach the governmental institutions.
He was either wrong or met the requirements to be exempted.

"I am an EU citizen with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Can I be exempted from compulsory health insurance?

Yes, as long as you do not earn an income in Switzerland. Please follow our Guidelines to an exemption from compulsory health insurance (PDF, 161 KB). You must apply for exemption within 3 months of entering Switzerland."

https://ethz.ch/en/studies/internati...sicherung.html

Only if he didn't work though, otherwise he needs Swiss health insurance.
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Old 23.08.2021, 10:19
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

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However, I asked the German guy who was living in my flat before and he worked at the University while being insured with his parents from home in Germany.
This is a common information shared among Italian soon-to-be-expats as well. Many are told they can this or that, a couple of times I was asked to check and the advice was wrong. Not saying it will always be, but the only safe way to know is to always refer to the official documentation.
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Old 23.08.2021, 12:31
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

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I just checked the ETH page

[...]

However, I asked the German guy who was living in my flat before

[...]

I would be talking about 12-15k income max on my end.
These three things altogether are raising a full stadium of red flags.

From the bottom one: are you getting 12-15k for how many "months"? 6? 12? If anything more than 3 months and it is a bank paying you, they are really screwing you up good.

Then the first two: your German informant is telling you that up to now he did not have any problem. Swiss bureaucracy is slow but unstoppable. He may have been fine, until the day he receive a letter asking for paying the missing health insurance amount. In full, all in once. The ETH page is telling you how much you can work, and under which terms. If we were discussing vaccination instead of emploqment/health insurance laws, Which one would you trust?

Unless the German informant is a law student, I would not trust his opinion. If he was a law student, I would question his ability in reading and understanding written texts.
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Old 23.08.2021, 16:13
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

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From the bottom one: are you getting 12-15k for how many "months"? 6? 12? If anything more than 3 months and it is a bank paying you, they are really screwing you up good.
Can't disagree with you more on this. At an hourly rate staff on call aren't paid a huge amount less than a graduate salary, which is commensurate with their usefulness. Bearing in mind that they are only supposed to work up to a maximum of 20% pensum.
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Old 23.08.2021, 16:38
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The hourly wages are around 35 CHF so if I average 10h / week it would be 350*4 = 1400 ... *12, you will get the idea. I was just ball parking.

Anyway, I called at the canton today and it was really hard to get a proper information. I got referred to loads of different people. The good thing is that they all picked the phone up very swiftly and all where friendly.

However, the advice wasn't close to bulletproof. On the one hand, they were clinging to the up to 15 h rule, on the other hand they were throwing ambiguous statements in the mix such as "as long as you are not working too much we can still exempt you ...".

I think the safest bet is that my employee (one of the Swiss banks) doesn't even try to get a work permit for me and I just work the max of 15h per week if that is possible.

The guy from the canton meant I can try also to get the work permit and then they will see in the exemption process if they will still exempt me but tbh that one is a too risky play for myself.

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Then the first two: your German informant is telling you that up to now he did not have any problem. Swiss bureaucracy is slow but unstoppable. He may have been fine, until the day he receive a letter asking for paying the missing health insurance amount. In full, all in once. The ETH page is telling you how much you can work, and under which terms. If we were discussing vaccination instead of emploqment/health insurance laws, Which one would you trust?

Unless the German informant is a law student, I would not trust his opinion. If he was a law student, I would question his ability in reading and understanding written texts.
Honestly I don't think he will have any issues. This is something you hear a lot from foreign student. Anyway, he went through the normal exemption process while working <15h at the University as an assistant. It is not like that he hid information ... the canton exempted him based on the information he gave them.

Last edited by roegner; 23.08.2021 at 17:18. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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Old 23.08.2021, 17:22
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

The only one that can answer to your case, with or without any inference from anedoctal german knowledge you may have, is this office:

Gesundheitsdirektion Kanton Zürich
Prämienverbilligung /
Versicherungsobligatorium

043 259 24 38

(or find here the appropriate cantonal office
https://www.bag.admin.ch/dam/bag/de/...efreiung-d.pdf )

At worst, you obtain your student visa, you apply for the exemption because you have no income and you can prove you have another insurance offering the required coverage, you then start working, you obtain the exemption, some months afterwards you are asked to pay retroactively.

Your income will still be 12/14'000 CHF - 2500 CHF of insurance.

Pay attention to the AHV contributions, too.

https://svazurich.ch/unsere-produkte...bstaetige.html
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Old 24.08.2021, 07:26
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

Can I also call ZUR if I am based in SG?
I can already hear the „oh you have to call in SG then“
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Old 24.08.2021, 14:17
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Re: Special Case - Master Student with part time work

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Can I also call ZUR if I am based in SG?
I can already hear the „oh you have to call in SG then“
Then why do you ask?
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